To be honest, when I saw Sebastien Ibeagha listed on the New York City FC training camp roster, I didn’t know who he was. After poking around his Wikipedia page, I noticed that he most recently played for NYCFC’s USL affiliate, San Antonio FC. Connection!
Then I saw this hype video, featuring some amazing plays. In this short clip the 2017 USL Defender of the Year displays leadership, makes some crunching tackles, and shows an ability to step into the midfield with the ball.
SAFC blogger Kyle Mahnke — who will be covering the club for Hudson River Blue going forward — offered his take on what Ibeagha could bring to New York.
“[He is a] center back that generally plays on the right side. He’s tall and pretty physical. He was a borderline sweeper at times if opponents didn’t mark him when he had the ball. SAFC is a counter attacking team, so his ability to drive the field if needed was pretty awesome. He captained several times and was a vocal leader on a very experienced defensive squad.”
Mahnke also believes that Ibeagha is a “fringe MLS player” who should “at the very least be on the bench of an MLS team.” But perhaps most importantly, he couldn’t identify any major weaknesses.
After watching the video and talking with Kyle, I truly believe that Ibeagha could fit right in with NYCFC. They could certainly use his leadership, and you can never have too many quality center backs in MLS. Who knows, adding him to the first-team roster could even allow the club to trade another center back.
Do you think Ibeagha will make the team? Where would he fit in? Leave your thoughts and comments below.